Dynamic pricing in eCommerce

January 5, 2024

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Stonegate Pubs implemented it — and customers went away running. AO World implemented it — and reported an increase in revenue of over 15% in a single financial year. Is dynamic pricing compatible with eCommerce, and what things do you have to consider before going for it?

What is Dynamic Pricing in E-commerce?

Dynamic pricing, a strategy revolutionising the e-commerce landscape, is an adaptive approach to setting the price of products or services, which can fluctuate based on market demand, competition, and other external factors. Unlike traditional pricing models, dynamic pricing is not static; it's a flexible and responsive strategy tailored to current market conditions.

Definition and Basic Concept

Dynamic pricing is the practice of varying the price for a product or service in real-time, based on different triggers. There are several types of dynamic pricing (time-based,  competition based, segment-based, etc.) that are categorises based on the triggers used to implement a price change. In general, dynamic pricing contrasts traditional fixed pricing strategies, where prices are set for an extended period and do not fluctuate in response to immediate changes. E-Commerce is a very vibrant, highly competitive and fast changing environment. Therefore, it makes sense to use pricing strategies here that would be adaptable and flexible, and reflect the dynamics of supply and demand.

early bird price time-based pricing

The Role of Data in Dynamic Pricing

At the heart of dynamic pricing lies data analytics. Data analytics allows e-commerce businesses to understand and predict customer behaviour, market trends, and pricing elasticity. The effective use of data analytics in dynamic pricing involves collecting and analysing vast amounts of data, including:

  •  Customer Demand Data: Understanding how demand varies with price changes, time, and other factors is crucial. For example, demand for certain products may spike during specific seasons or holidays. Or positive reviews on TrustPilot can increase demand from a certain seller.
  •  Competitor Pricing Data: Monitoring competitors' pricing strategies helps businesses to stay competitive. If a competitor lowers their prices, a dynamic pricing strategy can respond accordingly.
company's market position report by Aimondo highlights problematic prices
  •    Supply Levels: Prices might be adjusted based on the availability of the product. Limited stock often leads to higher prices.
  •    Historical Sales Data: Analysing past sales data helps in predicting future trends and making informed pricing decisions.
  •    Customer Segmentation Data: Prices can be tailored based on different customer segments, their purchasing power, and behaviour.

purchasing power parity index based price optimisation

Incorporating these data points into dynamic pricing algorithms allows e-commerce businesses to set prices that not only attract customers but also align with market dynamics and business goals. This data-driven approach ensures that pricing decisions are objective, timely, and market-responsive.

Advantages of Dynamic Pricing for E-commerce Businesses

Maximising Profits and Sales

Dynamic pricing is a potent tool for e-commerce businesses, primarily due to its significant impact on revenue enhancement.

Take Kömpf, Aimondo's German customer in the DIY and omnichannel retail sector, as an example. In 2022, they reported a 5% increase in their pocket margin, attributed to the adoption of dynamic pricing powered by our pricing engine.

Similarly, a UK-based customer specialising in sports equipment and bicycles observed a remarkable 10% year-over-year increase in online sales in 2023. This achievement was particularly notable as 99% of their industry peers faced challenges with overstocks and inelastic demand. Their successful use of dynamic pricing not only boosted sales but also expanded their market share during this period. Read more on the exact effect of dynamic pricing

charts explaining benefits of competition-based dynamic pricing

Enhanced Competitive Advantage

Staying ahead in the highly competitive e-commerce landscape requires more than just attractive pricing; it demands a strategy that adapts swiftly to market changes. Dynamic pricing allows e-commerce businesses to adjust their prices in real-time, responding to competitors' pricing strategies and market fluctuations effectively. For example, have dynamic pricing i place, they can react faster to the increased price sensitivity of their customers (when inflation rates go up, for example).

Real-Life Examples of Dynamic Pricing Success in E-commerce

Dynamic pricing is not just a theoretical concept; numerous e-commerce businesses have harnessed its power to drive remarkable improvements in their operations. Here are some  recent success stories:

Walmart - Competing with the Giants

Walmart, in its effort to compete with Amazon, implemented  dynamic pricing strategy in 2020. They used advanced analytics to adjust prices in real-time based on demand and competitor pricing. Notably, Walmart employed strategies like Price Leadership and 'Rollback' discounts to drive sales and customer loyalty. This strategy led to an increase in online sales by around 10% in the first quarter of 2021 alone, demonstrating the effectiveness of dynamic pricing in competing against e-commerce giants.

walmart website home page featuring a pram

AO World - Home Appliances and Electronics

AO World, a major online retailer specialising in household appliances and electronics in the UK, adopted dynamic pricing to stay competitive against larger e-commerce platforms in 2019. By dynamically adjusting prices based on competitor pricing, consumer demand, and product availability, AO World was able to significantly improve its market share and customer satisfaction. Following the implementation of dynamic pricing strategies, AO World reported an increase in revenue by over 15% in a single financial year (2020), showcasing the effectiveness of dynamic pricing in the highly competitive electronics market. As everyone else i the industry, company faced some major challenges in 2022-2023. However, AO World managed to overcome them much better than the majority of their competitors, and reported its profit growth up to $41M compared to $26M in 2022.

ao world website featuring deals

Challenges and Considerations in Implementing Dynamic Pricing

Navigating Customer Perceptions and Trust

Implementing dynamic pricing can sometimes lead to customer backlash, particularly when customers feel they're subject to unfair pricing. A notable example is Stonegate Pub Company, which faced public scrutiny when patrons discovered varying drink prices at different times. This incident underscores the importance of transparency and customer communication in dynamic pricing strategies. Businesses must balance maximising profits with maintaining customer trust, ensuring that pricing changes don't alienate their customer base.

comments on twitter regarding Stonegate dynamic pricing

Technical and Operational Challenges

Integrating dynamic pricing into existing e-commerce systems presents its own set of challenges. It requires seamless integration with current retail systems, data analytics tools, and inventory management systems. Additionally, dynamic pricing algorithms need constant monitoring and updates to ensure they remain effective and responsive to market conditions. This means investing in advanced dynamic pricing software that can enhance with your existing tech architecture, not replace it.

Best Practices for Dynamic Pricing in E-commerce

Establishing Clear Objectives and Policies

For successful dynamic pricing in e-commerce, it's crucial to have clear objectives and a solid policy framework. Objectives might include:

— increasing sales,

— optimising stock levels,

— or improving market share. 

Once these goals are set, it will be easy to choose a pricing strategy and build guidelines for implementing it.

progressive discounting strategy

The guidelines should outline the criteria for price changes, ensuring they align with business goals and market conditions.

Leveraging Advanced Technologies and Analytics

Utilising advanced technologies like AI and machine learning is central to effective dynamic pricing. As mentioned above, the end result always depends on the quality of data you collect from the market. And as there have been several big shifts in how major data providing platform work recently (notably, Google Shopping changed its content serving algorithm in 2023, and Amazon sellers started using AI-generated content more frequently), you have to adapt your data adoption strategies consequently. 

irrelevant results for Google shopping

Choose data providers that have improved their data and intelligence engines and overcame challenges presented by recent search updates (like Aimondo). By cooperating with these companies you ensure that pricing strategies are data-driven, responsive, and effective in achieving your business objectives.

Alec Scheul, Revenue Management at Aimondo

Alec Scheul, Revenue Management at Aimondo


With years of experience in sales and revenue management, Alec makes significant contributions to Aimondo's Knowledge Hub. He covers topics related to competitive strategies, competitive pricing, and strategic approaches to revenue growth

Pricing strategy
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